Congress is weighing in on an important issue that appears to have been a primary cause of the Sutherland Springs, Texas, massacre.
The monster who opened fire this past Sunday at First Baptist Church was able to purchase the weapon he used because of a failure by the U.S. Air Force to log his criminal background.
There’s this statement from House Armed Services Committee Chairman Mac Thornberry, a Clarendon Republican: “News that the Air Force failed to notify the FBI of (the shooter’s) military criminal record is appalling. … Furthermore, I am concerned that the failure to properly report domestic violence convictions may be a systemic issue.”
And The Hill reports this: “The Senate Armed Services Committee will conduct rigorous oversight of the Department’s investigation into the circumstances that led to this failure,” committee Chairman John McCain, R-Ariz., said in a statement. “It’s critical that each of the military services take the steps necessary to ensure that similar mistakes have not occurred and will not occur in the future.”
The shooter was given a bad conduct discharge from the Air Force. His exit was due to his assault against his then-wife and her infant child. The Air Force failed to notify federal authorities of the charge, enabling this bastard to purchase the assault weapon he used to murder 26 parishioners at First Baptist Church.
It appears to be a long-standing failure by the military. The issue is drawing considerable attention by lawmakers.
It’s too early to tell whether they are doing enough, or certainly whether they will do enough to crack down on the carnage that is erupting across the land.
I hope Congress and the president will do more. At least, though, we have begun a discussion about one element of gun violence.